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Old 07-13-2009, 01:39 AM   #1
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Default weight watching = superficial

I generally find it easier to lose weight if I feel well supported. Although I chose people wisely, I still encounter negative reactions.

In my (non-diet related) blog someone suggested (again!) that focusing on one`s weight is superficial and that weight should not matter. She is not the first one who tell me this. It`s generally people who could do with joining in themselves or those who are slim and never had weight probhlems. They say losing weight for cosmetic reasons seems superficial and self indulgent They point out that I`m a healthy person and say that the size of my stomach does not matter (and if it does to me, I should get a life!).

I am deeply hurt by those comments. I`m not a superficial person, but I do want to love the body I live in and I`m giving it my all at the moment to make this happen. I don`t want praise, but I want to be supported. Instead, I receive criticism for "taking it too seriously" just because I refuse an ice cream which I simply do not fancy at that moment. People tend to be sceptic when I tell them that I am losing my cravings and think that I`m denying myself, but I see no reason to eat things which are not good for me unless i really, really fancy them.

Have you ever encountered a reaction like this? It seems to me that it`s always people who do not know what it feels like to be unhappy in one`s body - either they`ve got a beautiful one or they don`t but simply are not bothered. They however seem to find it hard to accept that I want to change mine and attach all sorts of negative character traits to such a desire.
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Old 07-13-2009, 01:49 AM   #2
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I get these comments all the time, and read them even more. People who think that watching your food intake is "superficial" or "not sustainable".

What I find funny is that people who talk about "eating whole foods and getting exercise" aren't superficial...they're just focusing on being healthy! But if they're doing it to lose WEIGHT? Well, that's just self-centered. They're the same thing...doing what you can to be as healthy as you can!

My answer to this would be similar to:
"I have learned that, when I don't watch my weight, I end up at a weight that is unhealthy for my body. Watching what I eat makes me happier and healthier, not only because I'm more content with how I look, but also because my body is performing better. I'm really enjoying the way I feel, as well as the way I look. To you, that may be superficial. To me, it's just making sure that I devote some time to being the healthiest, happiest me I can be, because I am worth that effort.
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Old 07-13-2009, 01:56 AM   #3
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"Not sustainable" and "unhealthy" are some other ones I had - how could I possibly have forgotten these? It`s almost as if they grudge you it.

The thing is - if I did it for medical reasons, they would all be supportive (and probably even pity me for having to do it).

I like the "I`m worth the effort" bit, but all "they" would probably chose to hear in that would be one word: "So it`s an effort, is it? So why bother?"
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Old 07-13-2009, 02:05 AM   #4
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And then you say "because I am doing everything to ensure I have a long, happy, and healthy life". If they argue whether your life will be longer/healthier, you cite any number of studies on the fact that it will, in fact, do just that. And if they argue about whether it will be happier, you can say "Well, for now, it's making me happier than what I was doing before. If that changes, I'll make a change."

And then you repeat, ad nauseum, until the subject is dropped. And if all else fails, you go with the generic response for people who won't mind their own business..."Hmm, that's an interesting way of thinking about it...I'll have to give it some further thought". Which almost invariably shuts them up, because they feel like you are listening, while you actually didn't agree to a thing.
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Old 07-13-2009, 03:08 AM   #5
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Creeps! I've never had comments like that, what very odd people there are in this world.
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Old 07-13-2009, 03:38 AM   #6
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It seems it's so easy for certain people to attack others for being "superficial," but really, why should they care about how you or anyone else looks? Why should anyone be shunned for wanting to look and feel their best?
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Old 07-13-2009, 03:52 AM   #7
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I'm surprised people make those kind of comments when everyone seems to know the negative effects being overweight can have on a person's health.

I am not dieting to be beautiful, I am doing it because I want to have children and live a long life. Neither are likely to happen if I don't lose weight.
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Old 07-13-2009, 05:22 AM   #8
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Ouch... *hugs* Superficial comment, I can see how that and other comments like that can hurt.

I don't think watching our weight is superficial, I think it can be obsessive. I guess I never considered weight watching along the lines of something to be considered superficial, but maybe that is just me.

You want to be healthy and I think we all want health and want to look better to make ourselves happy. That to me is a normal thing and it is okay to concern one's self with how you look. I mean we all do. I want to look better too...I want to fit into better things, same thing. I don't see that as superficial as it is a packaged deal, health/looks.

One thing I can say that I have often viewed people who I thought were "perfect" and when you actually talk to those people they don't think they are. In fact they sometimes will focus on negative things about themselves and maybe, just an idea, they make those comments in order to make themselves feel better. A possible idea, other than being "helpful."

*HUGS*
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Old 07-13-2009, 05:37 AM   #9
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In my experience, people who complain that other people are being superficial do so because they don't have good self-esteem in whatever "superficial" area is being discussed, and they project their "you (I) should love yourself (me) just the way you (I) am" onto you. If someone secretly feels that they're fat, it's easier to tell another overweight person that they're obsessing than it is to change the fat feeling in themselves, if that makes any sense.

Don't let it bother you -- the fact that someone would make that comment says far more about them than it does about you.
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:23 AM   #10
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Wow, people will say anything I tell you........ Anyway, I definitely resent superficial comments like those!!!! Do any of those people who made the comments wear makeup? If they do, then I guess they're superficial. Do they ever try to dress nice? Then I guess they're superficial. Have they ever tried to get rid of one or 2 acne blemishes? Then I guess they're superficial! See what I mean? ALL of us have things that we want to improve, and sometimes that includes out health, and other times that includes looking HOT! And you know what?.... That's not superficial at all. It's called looking out for yourself and being the best person you can be in all facets of your life!
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Old 07-13-2009, 07:05 AM   #11
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I watched a wonderful girl in a Facebook weight loss group I belong to tonight being attacked and accused of being 'obsessive' because she posted about being concerned at her (stellar thus far) weight loss slowing down, and that she was re-evaluating what she'd done over the last week and how it may have affected her loss.

The woman who responded to her trotted out every cliche under the sun, and finished it up by calling her obsessive. This girl is not obsessive - she's dedicated. She's young, and she wants to feel young and be a good mom to her two boys. This other woman, in contrast, clings to every crutch, rationalisation and excuse not to fully commit to her professed intention to deal with her weight issues.

So yeah, even though the above is not even my problem I'm upset by it. I don't think wanting to lose weight is superficial at all. I think it's vital to our quality of life. I don't want to be imprisoned by my excess weight any longer. It spills over into too many dimensions of my life - my confidence, my energy levels, my emotional wellbeing. I think I'm doing the best possible thing for myself and for my little girl, and I hate that there are these people out there that will be so dismissive and even try to undermine our goals!!

Argh. I'm just a big ranty-pants tonight! LOL
Thanks for the extremely practical tips above on how to respond to these people.
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Old 07-13-2009, 09:20 AM   #12
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I'm having trouble expressing my thoughts this morning, but perhaps sometimes our efforts do appear to be obsessive. I have to BE a little obsessive, I think, because I don't have that natural "stop eating" signal. I am still trying to develop my sense of how much to eat. So I have to do things that appear to be (are?) obsessive--calorie counting, spreadsheets, daily weighing, lots of thinking about food. It's all necessary for me, even the spreadsheet because it nurtures my inner geek.

As far as the superficial comments--pfffft. So what. Yeah, I want to look good and I don't see anything wrong with that. It's not my sole motive, but even if it was there would be nothing wrong with that. I do lots of things that might be considered superficial; I try to wear flattering colors, I get my hair colored, I do my nails. If that makes me superficial, then bring it on, baby, because I'm not going to stop doing those things OR watching my weight.

Envy does funny things to peoples' minds, and I think that's what some of these comments are. Envy, or just a total lack of empathy.
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Old 07-13-2009, 10:33 AM   #13
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[quote]I don't think wanting to lose weight is superficial at all. I think it's vital to our quality of life. I don't want to be imprisoned by my excess weight any longer. It spills over into too many dimensions of my life - my confidence, my energy levels, my emotional wellbeing.[\QUOTE]

couldn't have said it better.

it's true that people will say anything, say the sky is blue, and someone will spend the energy to point out all the scientific reasons and occasions when it's not.

[quote]I do lots of things that might be considered superficial; I try to wear flattering colors, I get my hair colored, I do my nails. If that makes me superficial, then bring it on, baby, because I'm not going to stop doing those things OR watching my weight.[\QUOTE]

ditto, lol.
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Old 07-13-2009, 11:22 AM   #14
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Look - I've spent 3 decades of my life eating in an out of control manner. I was obsessive over food and getting as much as possible in my mouth, as often as I could. I would be SAD if I was too full to eat.

So exccuuuuuuuse meeeee for counting calories, counting steps, weighing food, and doing other "obsessive" things to get healthy.

So what if people are obsessive? You're doing this for you, not for them. If they're saying things you don't like then maybe you should stop talking to them about this. Cut the negativity out of your life.
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Old 07-13-2009, 11:33 AM   #15
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People start to bring this up with me occasionally, but I just say, "Listen, if I can do something that's both good for me and makes me feel really good, I'm going to do it, and losing weight along with getting in shape has made me happier and more confident than I've been in years."

They usually understand after that, or at least they shut up about it.
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